Tyndall Gorge and Chaos Canyon

(Part I)

This Saturday I went on an insane adventure into Tyndall Gorge, and inadvertently ended up in Chaos Canyon.

The original goal was to climb up into Tyndall Gorge and play around on some snowfields, with the western gully route on Hallett being a possible destination. The weather was good -- every hour or so a cloud would come over and bring a few small snow flurries with, but for the most part the day was blue sky and sunshine.

Of course, the first stop of the trail is the mostly melted out Nymph Lake. I didn't see too many people (even the parking lot was mostly empty):

The views from the trail up to Dream Lake are pretty remarkable. There was a bit of cloud cover (obvious when looking towards Glacier Gorge, as below); unfortunately the cloud cover made some of my pictures of the trail a bit dark...

Snow was falling (lightly) by the time I reached Dream Lake. You could barely make out Hallett, but mist obscured Tyndall Glacier (you can even see the snow falling in the third picture below). Within a few minutes, though, the clouds parted and all was sunny again.

Past Dream Lake the trail got a little sketchy and entirely snow-covered. I passed a nice group of folks who told me as much, until the realized that I was decked out with all sorts of climbing and snow travel gear. Not a worry! Just past Dream Lake the trail passes a little pool -- it is one of my favorite spots in the entire gorge.

After a short, off-trail adventure, I reached Emerald Lake... or did I? The 'trail' everyone made actually climbed to the top of the moraine south of the lake -- which was good, because I needed to climb to the top of it anyway to reach the upper gorge. For your pleasure, the view from the top of the moraine, first towards Flattop and then up the gorge itself:

For the next part of this trip/photo report, click here.

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